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Title: Workload consequences on Maltese audit firms and audity quality : an analysis
Authors: Sammut, Ruth
Keywords: Employees -- Workload
Auditing -- Malta
Work -- Psychological aspects
Personnel management -- Malta
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent of work overload in the local audit firm environment. The study aims to identify the factors that contribute to work pressures in audit firms and their potential consequences on the auditor and audit quality. This was achieved by means of a questionnaire which was distributed amongst the audit staff of the 35 Maltese audit firms in order to gain an understanding of their views. Findings indicate that the major factors that could potentially contribute to a workload environment are the busy season, audit clients, the performance of more than one audit job simultaneously, and whenever audit fees do not commensurate with time and effort required. Moreover, excessive work demands could have potential consequences on the auditors, in particular more stress, low morale, greater turnover intention, negative attitudes towards the job and job dissatisfaction. The study identifies that, managers of audit firms could be more likely to engage in dysfunctional behaviour when confronted with peak job pressures. Hence such behaviour could adversely affect audit quality. Nonetheless, dysfunctional behaviour in a demanding audit environment is very much restrained. In fact, evidence shows that auditors in audit firms tend to perceive work pressures as a challenge that motivates effort and harder work. These findings outline the need for audit firms to consider taking the correct measures and procedures that help audit firms to reduce high work pressures to mitigate its effects on the auditor. These include informing audit clients of their responsibilities in an audit of financial statements, allocating more time when a trainee or new staff joins the audit team and spreading audit work evenly throughout the year.
Description: B.ACCTY.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2009
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2009

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